My first foray into off-roading was several years ago after my Dad got his first 4×4, which was a petrol V6 Hyundai Terracan. We went out with Nathan and friends. it was a great deal of fun and the bug bit me hard. but much to my dismay i had recently purchased a brand new Toyota Camry 😦 and several months after this trip my dad and sister went on a long 4×4 trip across the outback.
anyway sometime later, while my wife was pregnant with my third son.. we had a car accident, some new p plate driver pulled out in front of me and we crashed.. thanks be to God i managed to swerve and hit his engine bay, pushing the wheel into the engine itself. thereby saving the youngsters life. anyway this gave us the opportunity to go and purchase my first 4×4. it was a 1991 3L V6 Mitsubishi pajero, it was a great ride and i loved the spring loaded front seat, woot..
due to the exhaust note and my driving style i earned the name Grunter, while on my first trip into the high country before black Saturday.
Grunter 1st, only lasted about 1 year, and after my wife had twins we decided to modernize the old girl. and since i was so impressed with the Terracan, i went and bought one myself. she become known as Grunter the 2nd, it was a manual 3.5L V6, Injected LPG.
After a lift, snorkel, custom bash plates.. awesome stereo system i took her and and my oldest son across the Simpson desert.. awesome trip that was. and then a couple of years later on my second trip to the Simpson desert. we were on the Strelitzia track, when i had an electrical fire in the engine bay. I just remember telling my boy, “Jump out and run to that tree way down there” grabbing the mic and say “Dad My CARS on FIRE!!!” and the same time somehow grabbing my powder fire extinguisher and popping the hood and hoping out to put the flames out.
I was heart broken, not because the car caught on fire.. but because the trip was cut so short. i was shatered from that and took sometime to get over it..
I was towed to Copley and after sometime dealing with the insurance company etc and several days later. my car was considered a write off and i had to make my own way home. thanks to my dad we managed to do many backwards and forwards trips and slowly made our way to Murray bridge where we met my sister and got ourselves home.. it was many thousands of kms, that my Dad drove and i am very grateful for 🙂
So once home and the Insurance company paid out my claim, it was time to go car shopping. After looking at dozens of different types, Prado, Land Cruisers, Patrols, land drovers. I came acros a 2003 (MY04) NP GLX DiD Pajero with 300,000km on the clock. went out and check her out and took her for a test drive, my Dad drove it and was very impressed.. decided we would think about it.. i went home drew the cash for it.. and went back first thing the following day and tested drove her again and paid for the car upfront.. it took a week of all checks etc before i could take my ride home.
And again, thanks to my Dad who took me to dozens of yards and helped me look at all sorts of rides and talk honestly about them.. without which i would never have gotten the great car i have now.
And a great big Thanks to my lovely, beautiful wife who let me go and get another 4×4 🙂